10 Netflix Specials from Comedians You May Not Have Heard of
By Josh Sepetjian
If you’re a hardcore comedy fan, you’ve no doubt heard some of these names. But if you enjoy stand-up on a more casual basis, or you are someone looking to jump into the world of people saying funny things into a microphone, here are some deep cuts to tickle your funny bone.
(“The Comedy Lineup” - Part 1, Episode 8)
One of the most effortlessly funny comics on the come up right now, Tim Dillon has no problem taking aim at popular culture. Whether it’s in his hilarious 15-minute Netflix special, or on his podcast “The Tim Dillon Show” (formerly known as “Tim Dillon is Going to Hell”), Dillon is a hilarious, unapologetic, hot take factory with lightning fast wit. You can find some of his other work on Comedy Central or on his aforementioned podcast.
(“The Degenerates” - Season 1, Episode 3)
Big, bold, and brash are probably the best words to describe Yamaneika Saunders. While her half-hour special as part of “The Degenerates” series isn’t necessarily the most polished material on Netflix, it’s certainly among the most explosive, impassioned, and hilarious. Saunders touches on everything from weight, to her sex life, to Barbie dolls in her special, and does so in a funny and surprisingly vulnerable way. You can find more of Saunders on Comedy Central, and on her podcast “Rantin’ and Ravin’.”
If you look up deadpan in the comedy dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Todd Barry. A veteran of the New York scene, Barry came up in the same era as comics like Marc Maron, Louis C.K., and Bill Burr. Though he’s never quite enjoyed the mainstream success as some of his contemporaries have found, he’s one of the most unique and subtle comedic voices to emerge from that era. Barry’s bone-dry delivery means that there’s no song and dance for his material to hide behind. It’s just razor sharp wit and rock solid punchlines. If you enjoy Barry’s 1-hour Netflix special, you can check out his other material on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon. He also has a book called “Thank You For Coming To Hattiesburg,” which you can find wherever people still read books.
(“The Tennessee Kid”; “The Standups” - Season 1, Episode 1)
In my humble opinion, Nate Bargatze’s half hour set that opens Netflix’s “The Standups” is one of the best specials on the entire platform. It was so successful that two years later, Netflix gave him another special—this time, a full hour. In his act, Bargatze accomplishes the Herculean task of being both gut-bustingly funny but so squeaky clean, you could listen to him with your Catholic grandma. His deadpan delivery style pairs perfectly with his hilariously relatable observations and stories. You can find more of Bargatze’s comedic stylings on Comedy Central, Spotify, and iTunes.
(“The Comedy Lineup” - Part 1, Episode 3)
In her bite-sized, 15-minute Netflix special, Taylor Tomlinson displays a mastery of the subtleties of comedy far beyond her years. Her ability to get the frankly garbage crowd from Netflix’s “The Comedy Lineup” on her side when so many other comedians in the series fail to do so is a testament to her skill in the invisible art of stand-up. Tomlinson’s style is clever, goofy, and ceaselessly lovable. If you like her on Netflix, check out some of her other material on “Conan” and “The Tonight Show,” as well as her podcast “Self Helpless.”
Big Jay Oakerson
(“The Degenerates” - Season 1, Episode 1)
Don’t let the fact that Big Jay Oakerson dresses like a roadie for Korn fool you. He’s one of the most seasoned and well-regarded comics on the east coast. He opens Netflix’s “The Degenerates” series with a blistering half hour chock-full of his trademark filthy material and irreverent style. Oakerson’s stage presence and command of a room means he’s one of the few comics who can get away with sitting on a stool for an entire set and still hold an audience’s attention. Besides “The Degenerates,” you can catch Big Jay in his hour-long Comedy Central special, on his podcast “The Legion of Skanks” (dubbed “the world’s most offensive podcast”), or on “The Bonfire,” the Sirius XM satellite radio show he hosts with fellow comedian Dan Soder.
(“In Trouble”; “Glitter Room”)
If this list of somewhat unknown comedians was written from across the pond, Katherine Ryan would probably be ineligible for it, given her huge level of popularity in the U.K. Though she’s lesser known here in America, Ryan is an undeniable assassin of a comic. In both of her hour-long specials for Netflix, Ryan explores lofty ideas like femininity and motherhood, all without sacrificing the actual jokes in her act. She’s also not afraid to roll up her sleeves with some of her edgier material. If you somehow have access to British television, you can catch Ryan as a regular guest on all of the country’s big panel shows, as well as on Netflix’s “The Fix” with Jimmy Carr and D.L. Hughley.
(“The Standups” - Season 2, Episode 3)
While you may not have seen Kyle Kinane’s face before, if you’ve ever watched anything on Comedy Central, you’ve most likely heard his charming, gravelly voice. Kinane spent many years as the voice of the network, a role which primarily saw him announcing shows and their times in interstitials between programs and commercial breaks. An obscure credit, nonetheless an iconic one. Kinane has the unique ability through his brilliant joke writing to make you think about people and things in a way you never would have considered—a skill which he uses to great effect in his Netflix half hour. You can catch more of his material on Comedy Central, Spotify, and iTunes. He also has a podcast called “The Boogie Monster,” where he and fellow comedian Dave Stone discuss conspiracies and the paranormal.
(“Bangin’”; ”The Standups” - Season 1, Episode 4)
If comedy about sex bothers you (you weird prude), Nikki Glaser isn’t the comedian for you. Her takes on men, relationships, and hookups are as plentiful as they are entertaining. While sexuality is a big part of her act, Glaser definitely isn’t the one trick, vagina joke pony that a lot of female comedians get pigeonholed as. She’s more than capable of delivering laughs on a broad array of topics, from gender dynamics to flatulence. Aside from her stand-up, you can catch Glaser as a regular panelist on the Comedy Central roasts, and on her radio show “You Up with Nikki Glaser” on Sirius XM.
(“The Standups” - Season 1, Episode 6)
Dan Soder is a dude you legitimately just want to hang out with. His affable persona and charming smile draw you in to his stand up, and his clever material and witty turns of phrase keep you around. Between “The Bonfire,” the Sirius XM radio show he hosts with fellow list member Big Jay Oakerson (which is one of the most consistently hilarious shows ever committed to audio), his supporting role on the Showtime series “Billions,” and his own hour long Comedy Central special, there are plenty of ways to get your fill of this lovable Colorado stoner.